Effective from April 2nd, Melbourne metropolitan water restrictions ease from Stage 3a to Stage 3. Although this is positive news it doesn’t make it any easier on the Bacchus Marsh farmers and it still means that those of us with Bacchus Marsh real estate can’t water our lawns and we still have to be very careful with our water use.
In fact just two months ago you may have read my blog about some Bacchus Marsh farmers being at risk of closing down when there was just not enough water to go around. The Bacchus Marsh farmers are still extremely tight with their water usage and it’s causing some of them to struggle, so when the State Government announced that the water restrictions were shifting to a Stage 3 we thought this meant our irrigators would have some security for the season!
But it’s not all positive news. The 3000 megalitres of extra water given to the Bacchus Marsh irrigators is said to have cost between $1,600 and $1,800 per megalitre! Most of our growers are used to paying $250 or less per megalitre and when they do need extra water the most expensive emergency water is normally only $700 per megalitre. But if farmers are to refuse to pay the higher amount their farm may not survive – so it is not a winning situation either way!
The official price of the water hasn’t been released yet though, so maybe once the price is confirmed farmers will be able to relax a bit, especially if it’s not as high as the rumoured price I just mentioned!
For now I guess we’ll just have to sit tight and see what happens… but we can only hope that the State Government will be kind to the Bacchus Marsh farmers and keep their best interests at heart.